Dogs bite for many different reasons. It does not necessarily mean that a dog is aggressive or even badly-behaved. A dog can have a justifiable reason for biting another dog or even a human.
According to the Centers for Disease Control about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Only about one in five of those people require medical attention. However, these figures include puppies that nip people, people who are scratched by dogs, scrapes from a dog’s tooth, accidental bites, people who are bitten by injured dogs in pain, bites by working police dogs, and bites to vet techs and other canine professionals. So, the figures are highly misleading. Bite statistics in the U.S. actually suggest that dog bites are decreasing and fatal dog bites are extremely rare.
Most dog bites occur to children between the ages of 5 and 9. It is theorized that kids this age are lower to the ground and at face level with a dog. Dogs may not feel they need to respect children this age. Also, children at this age may not know or may not have been taught how to properly treat a dog. Children at this age may be more likely to tease a dog or hurt it, accidentally or on purpose, and the dog may respond. Boys are generally more likely to be bitten than girls.
Typically children should be taught how to behave with dogs and treat them with respect. They should also always be supervised when they are playing. Babies especially should never be left alone with a dog as dogs are animals and even the sweetest dog can do something that might surprise you.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
They Are Being Treated Inappropriately
If a dog has been smacked or hit several times as a means of correction, or if a child is constantly hitting the dog, the dog will eventually try to defend itself.
A dog may bite if he feels that someone is breaking into your home or trying to harm you.
They Are Protecting Their Offspring
A female dog may bite if she feels that her puppies are being threatened in any way.
Many dog bites occur by accident. If your dog has a seizure, for instance, and you are trying to help him, he may swing around and snap without knowing what he’s doing.
If someone tries to help a dog that’s been hit by a car, the dog may be in such pain that he will try to bite anyone who touches him.
A dog coming out of anesthesia at the vet’s office may be groggy and bite someone without even knowing what he’s doing.
Puppies often nip, scratch, and bite people before they learn that this is unacceptable behavior so teaching your puppy manners at a young age is extremely crucial.
These are just a few of the reasons why a dog may decide to bite. Most dog bites are not serious, though the numbers sound alarming. No one wants a dog bite to occur but it’s always important to remember that dogs are animals and you must exercise some caution when handling them. Above all, teach your children how to behave around dogs and supervise small children when they are interacting with them. This will keep both the children and dogs safe at all times.